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>> from all of us here, thanks for watching. we will see you again at 6 this is "world news," tonight, crunch time. behind the scenes as the candidates prepare for tomorrow night's showdown. with president obama locked down in debate prep, our new poll shows romney supporters fired up as never before. the comeback, a brand-new sign of the housing recovery. why this couple thinks they're going to make $60,000 in a matter of months and why it's good for your neighborhood. classroom controversy. they are inexpensive language classes offered around the country for kids in budget-strapped school districts. wait until you hear who is paying for the teachers. and living on the edge. the man who jumped down from space. tonight, we tell you what it felt like inside that suit to rocket through the stratosphere at 800 miles per hour.
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good evening on this monday night. as we come on the air, the countdown is on to the big rematch between president obama and governor mitt romney. the next presidential debate just one day away, and here's where we are tonight, both men were hunkered down preparing for another duel, and a new poll shows president obama facing new headwinds. the abc news/"washington post" poll out today shows enthusiasm among obama supporters faltering while governor romney's supporters are riding a wave of new energy. 22 days to go until americans go to the polls. it's "your voice, your vote," and abc's jake tapper starts with what the president is doing on the eve of the showdown. >> reporter: a glimpse of president obama this afternoon in a rare break from marathon debate prep. >> i brought some food. >> reporter: he emerged briefly
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yesterday to offer an upbeat status report. >> it is going great. >> reporter: a far cry from his grim attitude two weeks ago. back then -- >> they're keeping me indoors all the time. it's a drag. >> reporter: and that was followed by a performance that conveyed that he thought the debate was a drag. a performance whose toll seems clear. a brand-new "usa today"/gallup poll has president obama trailing in the key battleground states, 46% to mitt romney's 51%. hunkered down at the luxury kingsmill resort in williamsburg, virginia, the president knows he needs to show voters he's ready for fight for his job. >> nobody is a harsher critic than the president is of himself. he viewed the tape, and i think he will make some adjustments tuesday. >> reporter: he's been holding mock debates in a set like the one at hofstra university in long island, new york, and while students have been playing the candidates, they're asking real questions in tomorrow's town meeting. voters who can throw quite challenging curveballs.
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>> i'm one of your middle class americans, and, quite frankly, i'm exhausted. i'm exhausted of defending you. >> reporter: the president's only held one town meeting this year while romney's held 23. today the republican holed up with advisers at his home in belmont, massachusetts, working to finesse his debate style hoping to avoid moments like this from 1992 when president george h.w. bush was caught glancing at his watch. romney has had notable fumbles when hanging with real people. >> i'm also unemployed. >> reporter: joking, for instance, that he, a multimillionaire, is unemployed. of course, diane, many voters made their choice because of early voting and absentee ballots. take a look at this picture of first lady michelle obama with her absentee ballot signed, sealed and delivered to chicago. our poll says a full third of likely voters will vote before election day. >> it is already under way. thank you, jake, and jake and george stephanopoulos and the entire political team will be right here tomorrow night, "one on one, the candidates debate,"
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9:00 p.m. eastern, 6:00 pacific. and as we know, that debate will be filled with questions about jobs and the future of this economy, and today we saw one sign that an engine of growth is gaining steam. new numbers out today show consumers are spending more. retail spending up, and part of the comeback, the housing market stirring to life. abc's cecilia vega tells us how much. >> reporter: in the latest sign that america's real estate is on the rebound, greg steinberg and alexandra becket are flipping houses. they bought this two-bedroom home in los angeles and plan to fix it up and sell it, fast, making a $50,000 profit. >> so this is the hallway that leads to the bathroom and the two bedrooms over there. >> reporter: this was the bathroom. >> yes. >> reporter: "was," operative word. just four months ago, this was a living room and the dining room. and you can see now this house is completely under construction, just gutted, but in a matter of just two months, it will be on the market and ready for sale. flipping homes helped fuel the
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real estate bubble, and it made for tv gold. remember all those shows? from "flip this house" -- >> let's get started. >> reporter: to "flip that house." >> one, two, three. let's get paid. >> reporter: today around the country, there are 25% more homes being flipped than last year, and sellers are walking away with an average profit of $29,000. of the houses that you're selling, how many would you say are housing that are being flipped? >> between like 25% and 40%. >> reporter: wow. but in this new generation of house flippers, many greedy speculators are being replaced by conscientious buyers. >> flippers now are much more savvy and are actually rehabbing the properties. >> reporter: home sales may be on the rebound, but there's still more work to be done. six years ago the median home price was about $230,000. today, it's only $187,400. still, there are now profits to
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be made for those willing to gamble. >> it's very risky. >> it's high stakes poker. >> reporter: high stakes poker that once again comes with a big payoff. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. and up next tonight, a reality check about taxpayer dollars and how congress spends them. tonight, abc's jon karl brings us an exclusive first look at a report, which shows 100 ways in which congress is still wasting nearly $18 billion in taxpayer money. jon has our washington watchdog tonight. >> reporter: chances are when you think "nonprofit," you don't think the national football league. after all, the nfl pulled in more than $9 billion last year, but the league calls itself a nonprofit organization and avoids paying some $40 million in taxes every year. >> we have some of the biggest corporations in america paying no taxes whatsoever. you know something is wrong with the code. >> reporter: the nfl loophole is
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just one of the examples in senator tom coburn's new "wastebook 2012 report" on government waste. there's the $325,000 squirrel robot. it looks so real, it can fool a rattlesnake. the million dollar martian menu. no plans for a manned mission to mars, but nasa is spending nearly a million dollars a year researching the kind of food to eat there. and the lake murray airport in oklahoma, just one flight a month, but it gets $150,000 a year from the faa. the oklahoma airports commissioner told us the only reason he keeps it open is to keep getting federal dollars that he uses on other airports. >> is there anybody in the world who would say, "no, thanks, government. we don't want this money"? >> reporter: senator coburn says his report is proof that despite all the talk, congress is wasting as much money as ever. >> congress refuses to make hard choices. >> reporter: the wastebook lists congress itself as a waste of money. no major accomplishments this year and a trillion dollar
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deficit. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. and now a note from overseas about that extraordinary little girl who tried to take on the taliban. an update on malala yousafzai. the 14-year-old shot in the head for saying publicly she wants an education. today, she was moved from pakistan to a hospital in england where a team of specialists is treating her, and tonight they say she has a chance at making a good recovery. and tonight we have a story about something going on in american classrooms across the country. a lot of parents want their children to learn to speak chinese. a lot of schools can't afford it. so what's been happening? chinese teachers are coming in paid for by the chinese government. abc's dan harris takes a look at the controversy. >> reporter: it is wondrous and also completely adorable to see a room full of kindergartners in
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this struggling school district in macon, georgia, getting the opportunity to learn mandarin chinese. how do you say hello in chinese? >> ni hao. >> reporter: can you count to five in chinese? [ speaking chinese ] >> reporter: but language teachers are expensive, so how did this poor district make this happen? here's the catch, macon is partnering with the chinese government, specifically an agency called the confucius institute, whose mission is to improve china's image abroad. the chinese train the teachers and pay half of their salaries, and this is not just happening in macon. according to the chinese government, they have set up shop at 75 universities around america and at nearly 300 primary and middle schools. the superintendent here in macon assured me that his american teachers are always in the room with the chinese instructors, but there was something he didn't know.
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let me show you something because i'd be interested if this meets your standard. the video i'm about to show him on my phone is a cartoon from the "for kids" section of the confucius institute website which renames the korean war "the war to resist u.s. aggression and aid korea." the institute recently pulled this video from its website. >> i don't know what this is, but i can tell you that we are very much in charge of the curriculum that is delivered in our classroom. >> reporter: can you be sure that they're not showing videos like this to our kids? >> we have all the curriculum that they deliver, so, yes. >> reporter: so they run by you. >> correct. >> reporter: but does it not worry you that they'd make a video like this at all? >> i don't get into politics. i'm an educator. i'm here to educate our kids. >> reporter: critics, including some top china experts and also some conservatives in congress, say what starts as a simple language program can end up as a stealth pr campaign for a communist government with a terrible human rights record. >> you don't want other countries propagandizing your
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children. >> reporter: we sent our beijing correspondent, abc's gloria riviera, to the headquarters of the confucius institute to get a response, but she was turned away. >> no? okay. >> reporter: the confucius institute does have many prominent defenders, including school officials from north carolina to minnesota, the college board and even the u.s. state department, but here in macon a small group of parents have become vocal critics. mandarin chinese is the number one language on the planet right now, so isn't it useful on some levels to teach children this language? >> i don't have a problem with the language itself. it's the way that it's being presented by the institute that leaves questions. >> reporter: a heated debate and some say a dilemma, a program that presents children with a wonderful opportunity, but is it worth the trade-off? >> and dan is here, so, dan, is there evidence of any propagandizing in other classrooms? >> short answer, no. they've been at it since 2006,
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the chinese government. we could find no hard evidence they've ever engaged in propaganda. >> and how much money is the chinese government spending on this? >> they won't tell us exactly, but we know it's millions of dollars a year. experts say this is a vast amount of money compared to what other countries are doing, perhaps unprecedented. >> is it going to grow and grow? how many classrooms, how many schools in this country are clamoring for it? >> the chinese are ambitious about this and say there's a lot of demand in america and plan to do a lot more in the future, not less. >> all right, a controversy in the classroom tonight. thank you, dan. and coming up here, the death-defying jump from the edge of space with the whole world watching. tumbling out of control, what did that feel like? we'll take you inside that space suit next. ♪
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with a low national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on your medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to for details. a new frontier was conquered yesterday. one man hurtling like a spaceship, a human spaceship down toward the earth. a stunning distance dropping more than 800 miles per hour and smashing the sound barrier. so how could he breathe? how close did he come to passing out? abc's ryan owens takes us inside the jump watched by the whole world. >> and our guardian angel will take care of you. >> reporter: fearless felix says when he dove from the edge of space 24 miles up, it was like swimming without ever touching the water.
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>> when i was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. you do not think about breaking records anymore. the only thing that you want is you want to come back alive. >> reporter: baumgartner was falling at 833 miles an hour, faster than a fighter jet, fast enough to break the sound barrier, although he didn't hear that moment inside his suit. then 35 seconds into the plunge at nearly 100,000 feet above earth, a moment of crisis. felix started to spin. it was one of his team's worst fears, a death spiral that could leave him unconscious, unable to deploy his parachute. when you were in that, what looked like to me a death spin, you must have been afraid. >> well, i was. i mean, you are in that situation, and it spins you around like hell, and you do not know if you can get out of that spin or not. >> reporter: 40 seconds later,
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he stopped spinning by bringing his arms closer to his body just like he'd practiced a million times before. the 43-year-old austrian had another secret weapon, the steely calm voice of a man who had been there, 84-year-old retired air force colonel joe kittinger held the record for the highest free fall for 52 years. that's him hurtling back to earth back then. sunday he talked felix through breaking his own record. okay, here we go. >> reporter: you must know that your voice in his ear was some comfort. >> well, i hope so. that's what i was there to, to help him accomplish the task. >> and felix is back to earth successfully, the new record holder. >> reporter: ryan owens, abc news, roswell, new mexico. and coming up, something new, our instant index. what had us talking today and starting with this, armchair astronomers discover a planet straight out of "star wars," the tatooine in our backyard.
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j.d. power and associates has ranked quicken loans "highest in customer satisfaction in the nation." call or go to to discover for yourself, why we're engineered to amaze. i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. with copd, i thought i'd miss our family tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function, starting within 5 minutes.
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and that makes a difference in my breathing. today, we're ready for whatever swims our way. ask your doctor about symbicort. i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, hey kev, how about a bike ride? you're not my dad ahh!! hey honey, back feels better, little dancing tonight, you and me? dr. scholl's pro inserts relieve different types of lower body pain by treating at the source so you're a whole new you. go pro with dr. scholl's. and tonight we're eye today. people, picture, quotes, and first up a number in the news. 17. we learned and tonight we're launching something new on "world news." we call it the instant index. the new things that caught our eye today. people, picture, quotes, and first up a number in the news. 17. we learned that's how many times it took author e.b. white to read this passage of the famous book he wrote without crying. it's the audio book version of "charlotte's web." >> nobody of the hundreds of people that had visited the fair
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knew that a gray spider had played the most important part of all. no one was with her when she died. >> today marks 60 years since "charlotte's web" was published and became a children's classic. and a quote in the news from someone who got quite a surprise in the middle of the night. quote, he spent a lot of time assuring me it wasn't a prank." that's dr. alvin roth. he was awakened at 3:30 in the morning by a phone call telling him he had won the nobel prize along with fellow economist lloyd shapley for their work in game theory. the pair developed algorithms that helped match up everyone from patients in need of a kidney to the right donor to singles just looking for love. and a picture in the news tonight, this alien planet discovered by armchair astronomers. the planet orbits not one but two bright suns, the real-life version of tatooine from "star wars."
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the two men cracked the code combing through planet hunt ers and noticed something strange, two suns flickering in tandem. the new planet was passing in front of them. their discovery was presented by real astronomers at yale who said they would have missed it if not for the eagle-eyed amateurs. and we want to hear in you. so tell us which pictures, people and quotes capture your imagination every day. tell us online at or tweet them to us at #instantindex. and coming up here leaping from space, plunging cliff, defying gravity. what is the next frontier for those willing to risk it all? [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. defying gravity. what is the next frontier for those willing to risk it all? more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy.
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who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. ♪ i've been a superintendent for 30 some years at many different park service units across the united states. the only time i've ever had a break is when i was on maternity leave. i have retired from doing this one thing that i loved. now, i'm going to be able to have the time to explore something different. it's like another chapter. if you're a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied
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finally tonight, it is still a brave new world out there for the 21st century pioneer. even though we've seen men and women take on the depths of the oceans and take on the summits and now the edge of space. so what is this new frontier left to conquer? abc's david wright looks beyond the horizon. >> reporter: we call them daredevils because they're literally "daring the devil" performing a suicidal stunt and getting away with it.
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in this case, a stunt seen before only in a "star trek" movie. hollywood fantasy made real. no wonder we're all transfixed. harry houdini, evel knievel, david blaine, showmen all, but what separates daredevils from mere stunt men may be the backdrop. the tightrope walker perched over niagara falls is as compelling in 2012 as it was in 1876 or a man-made wonder, a bridge or a building or a pair of buildings. philippe petit, the "man on a wire," whose flight of fancy is all the more poignant because that wonder is gone. like petit, felix baumgartner spent years planning this jump just as others are now planning what may be the next great frontier, a journey to the center of the earth, jules verne for real to study the origins of life. less than a century ago, pilots were daredevils.
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>> lindbergh and "the spirit of st. louis." >> reporter: charles lind berg and amelia earhart pushing boundaries that now we take for granted. without neal armstrong, there'd be no felix baumgartner. >> that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> reporter: of course, baumgartner's giant leap didn't defy gravity. he submitted to gravity all the way down. david wright, abc news, los angeles. and thank you so much for watching. we are always here at, and "nightline," of course, will be here later. we'll see you right back here again tomorrow night, and until then, have a good night.
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tonight port of oakland looks at policies on travel expenses after n employee spent thousands in a strip club. >> bay area economy and value of your home. we have good news tonight if you've been waiting for a seller's market. >> 49ers may be moving to santa clara, but san francisco will get the glory. tonight the city submits a bid
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for the super bowl. >> they all but vanished. tonight they're back. remarkable recovery of river otters to the bay area. this is a strip club in houston, texas called treasures. a bay area public employee spent $4500 triggering outrage and a review of his travel expenses. good evening. >> i'm dan ashley. the bare facts put a man's job in jeopardy. he's accused of spending thousands of dollars of public money in a strip club. vic lee is live where commissioners are meeting about this right now. vic? >> the port commissioners went into closed emergency session just after 5:00 tonight here at the port offices. we're told the sessions are rare. that they're called only to discuss the

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC October 15, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Abc 10, America 5, Macon 5, Obama 4, Confucius 4, Romney 4, Us 3, Los Angeles 3, Felix 3, Oklahoma 2, Charlotte 2, Felix Baumgartner 2, Axiron 2, U.s. 2, Cecilia Vega 2, David Wright 2, Dr. Scholl 2, Ryan Owens 2, Dan 2, Washington 2
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